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'The Call of the Wild' by Jack London - review

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James Wilson The Call of the Wild: Nature, Red in Tooth and Claw' The title of the book is 'The Call of the Wild' and was written by Jack London in 1903. He was the son of an Irish-American astrologer and his mother was Flora Wellman, the odd one out of a well to do family. They lived a life of poverty in Pennsylvania. Jack read a lot and at the age of fifteen left home and travelled around North America as a tramp. On charges of vagrancy, he spent 30 days in prison. After educating himself he managed to gain entry to a university, before being caught up in the Klondike River Gold Rush in North Canada, 1896. On his return he began to write, but he drank heavily and eventually took his own life. The Call of the Wild is a moving story of how a St. Bernard, Scotch Shepherd cross breed dog called Buck escapes captivity to become the proud leader of a wolf pack. Buck was born a privileged, dignified dog with a loving family but was taken from his warm Southern Californian home to be shipped to the cold recesses of Alaska during the 1890's Gold Rush. ...read more.


Anthropomorphism is also used in the language of the chapter to help get the idea across that animals can react the same way as people, and fight just as bad. For example, London gives the animals human emotions like, 'screaming with agony' and 'cursing horribly' which is the dog's reactions after a terrible fight between Curly and Spitz. Curly is a female dog who walked up to Spitz 'the size of a full grown wolf' who then attacked her ruthlessly and unforgiving. Her face 'was ripped open from eye to jaw' and this taught Buck another valuable lesson 'there was no fair play. Once down, that was the end of you.' So Buck learned that he would never go down. The chapter is set in the ever wintry Alaska, covered in a blanket of white snow. Buck describes that, 'there was imperative need to be constantly alert'. This was because he felt that if he shut his eyes for even one moment he would surely be savaged by Spitz, the malevolent leader of the sled dogs. The chapter uses plenty of adjectives to help describe what the scenery looks like, for example, even though it snows most of the time in Alaska, it is still quite sunny despite whereabouts it is in the world. ...read more.


Only because, 'it's easier to do it, than not to do it.' His body learns to get the last piece of nutriment from the most inedible food and that his muscles become hard as iron, and how his senses become greatly heightened. All this happens because Buck makes it happen just simply to survive. We can learn from this book that animals and humans are greatly alike and that sometimes animals may be more civilized than the species with the supposed 'higher intelligence.' However animals could also be much more uncivilized than you could ever imagine. We can also learn that societies can be formed in any group of animals; all you need is someone to control how things are done. The dogs took on many human roles and acted in some ways exactly the same as humans do in the same role. The main character in the story, a cross breed called Buck represents the quiet one who's only goal is to prove himself and succeed in the inhospitable Alaskan environment. We may place ourselves as humans, as the most important creatures on this planet, but this book proves that there is really no greater species, we can all act the same way and we all really have only one true goal. Survival!! ...read more.

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